This Baked Cinnamon Apple French Toast Casserole is an easy make-ahead sweet treat for breakfast or brunch! It's perfect for entertaining guests with minimum fuss the morning of the gathering. Best of all, it's a truly delicious crowd-pleasing recipe that you can make year round.
This baked French toast is really a cross between French toast and bread pudding. The bread slices soak overnight in vanilla-laced custard, topped with a blanket of tender, cinnamon-spiced apple slices.
The next morning it bakes for about an hour until puffy, golden, and fully set. Err on the slightly longer side if you notice a bit of loose custard sneaking up through your French toast. You want to make sure all the custard sets before you serve this to guests.
Maple syrup is an excellent accompaniment, although I find the French toast to be perfect, delicately sweet, and well-balanced even without this addition.
- Texas Toast: Texas toast is thick pre-sliced white bread. It can be hit or miss in many grocery stores, but I see it from time to time in the bread aisle depending on the store. If you can't find it, you can either bake your own loaf of plain white sandwich bread, or purchase a loaf of unsliced sandwich bread and cut it into 1-inch thick slices yourself.
- Apples: You'll need about 6 medium or 5 large apples for this apple french toast casserole. I recommend using a variety of apples for more complex flavor.
- Light Brown Sugar: For longevity, store your brown sugar in its tightly sealed original bag placed inside a sealed freezer bag with all the air pressed out. The key is to squeeze out all the air from both the original bag (do the best you can) and then put it in another airtight container. This will keep your brown sugar soft and fresh much longer!
How to make it
Peel, core, and cut the apples into ¼-inch-thick slices. Heat butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until it starts to foam. Add the apples and cook them until tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
Lightly toast the bread. Cut the toast slices in half to make triangles. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, and arrange the bread in two rows, overlapping in the dish.
Beat eggs in a medium bowl, then whisk in the sugar, milk, and vanilla to make a custard. Pour the custard over the bread triangles, and spoon the apples over the top. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat the oven to 350°F. Uncover the baking dish and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the custard is set and doesn’t shimmy when you shake the pan.
The apple french toast casserole will puff up and brown slightly, but it will deflate at bit as it rests. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Please scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe (in a printable recipe card) including ingredient amounts and detailed instructions.
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Baked Cinnamon Apple French Toast Casserole
- 6 medium apples (or 5 large apples), use a variety
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up into small cubes, plus more for the baking dish
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 8 slices Texas toast thick presliced white bread
- 8 large eggs
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Peel, core, and cut the apples into ¼-inch-thick slices. Heat the butter in a saute pan over medium heat until it starts to foam. Add the apples and cook them until tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- Lightly toast the bread. Cut the toast slices in half to make triangles. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, and arrange the bread in two rows, overlapping in the dish.
- Beat the eggs in a medium bowl, then whisk in the sugar, milk, and vanilla to make a custard. Pour the custard over the bread triangles, and spoon the apples over the top. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, preheat the oven to 350°F. Uncover the baking dish and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the custard is set and doesn’t shimmy when you shake the pan (err on the longer side to ensure its baked through). It will puff up and brown slightly but will deflate a bit as it rests.
- Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve it in squares or large spoonfuls with maple syrup, if desired.
- If you struggle to find commercially available Texas toast, you can bake your own white sandwich bread, and cut it into 8 one-inch-thick slices.
- Adapted from Gale Gand’s Brunch
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*
What a delicious treat! Love this breakfast dish. It's perfect for brunch parties too.
I have a ton of apples! I can’t wait to make this! Do you have a white bread recipe that you’d recommend?
I can't find the exact recipe right now, but it was a cool rise white bread! This recipe may be similar to the one I used. I'm not sure if you have Stop and Shop in Pittsburgh, but I was just there today and saw some Stop and Shop brand Texas Toast! I would have just bought it last time if I had found it 😀 Let me know how it goes! I bet Lily would love it!
This is so good! I made this for a big brunch I was having at my house. I love something I can throw in the oven for an hour before guests arrive, and with all the prep and clean up the night before: magical. I used a loaf of brioche from the store and it puffed up beautifully and really made the custard stand out. I used 8 small Macintosh apples (that’s what I had!) and it was a perfect amount. The whole bake was soft enough that our 18 month old nephew could have some without worrying about toughness. I even had some the next day cool and it was YUMMY. I can’t recommend enough!
I'm so glad your guests enjoyed this recipe! It's such a great make-ahead recipe for occasions just like yours. I bet the brioche was perfect. It's a wonderful bread for French toast.
I absolutely love French Toast and bread pudding, and this looks like the best combination of both! I can't wait to try it!